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Art and War in the Renaissance: The Battle of Pavia Tapestries
On view June 16 through September 15, 2024
Kimbell Art Museum
Fort Worth, Texas

Seven lavish tapestries depict the battle of Pavia, commemorating Holy Roman Emperor Charles V’s decisive victory over French King Francis I, which was a pivotal point in the Italian Wars almost five hundred years ago. The tapestries are monumental in scale—each measuring about twenty-eight feet wide and fourteen feet high—drawing viewers into the world of Renaissance history, military technology, and fashion. Narrative depictions of key moments from the battle are packed with near-life-size figures and horses in full battle regalia, set within the scenography of the battlefield and countryside outside the besieged northern Italian city of Pavia.

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[Image: Willem and Jan Dermoyen, after Bernard van Orley, The Incursion of the Imperial Baggage Train into the Battlefield, and the Surrender of the Swiss Pikemen of the French Army, c. 1528–31. Wool, silk, gold, and silver thread, 172 x 347 1/4 in. (437 x 882 cm). Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, Naples]